6 Oct 2011

More dairy cattle means need for more drinking water

6:59 pm on 6 October 2011

New Zealand's dairy cattle drink enough water to fill 90 Olympic-sized swimming pools every day.

That's revealed in new figures from Statistics New Zealand in a report on the country's water stocks.

It says since 1995, dairy cattles' drinking-water requirements have increased by almost 50%, mainly due to the growth of the national dairy herd.

Dairy cattle now drink more water than all other livestock put together, at 113-gigalitres a year. A gigalitre is one billion litres.

Other figures show that despite big fluctuations in rain and snow fall, groundwater volumes changed less than 1% in the past five years.

About 70% of New Zealand's groundwater is in the Canterbury region.